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BetterSea Monday Newsletter: The Role of Ports under FuelEU Maritime

Updated: Jul 8

A containership at berth in a European Port

Last Friday, we had another round of our Friday quiz! Let’s dive into the role of ports under FuelEU!

Friday's Question:

How many ports are TEN-T ports?

Possible Answers with Given Responses:

  • 0 to 100 - 0%

  • 100 to 500 - 100%

  • 500 to 1000 - 0%

Correct Answer:

  • 100 to 500 (328)


General Overview: The Role of Ports under FuelEU Maritime

Under FuelEU Maritime, ports play a vital role in promoting cleaner maritime fuel options. They provide essential infrastructure, enforce regulations, and can offer incentives to help the shipping industry adopt alternative fuels.

By improving efficiency, using sustainable technologies, and working with various stakeholders, ports drive significant changes towards maritime decarbonization.

How FuelEU Maritime Regulates Ships in European Ports

The FuelEU Maritime regulation outlines the requirement for containerships and passenger ships to connect to the onshore power supply (OPS) while moored ar berth for a period exceeding 2 hours. Note that zero emission technologies can exempt the respective ships from the requirement. The requirement is following a timeline that allows both ships and ports to implement the technology needed for OPS:

  • From 1 January 2030, the above mentioned is required in ports covered by Article 9 of Regulation (EU) 2023/1804

  • From 1 January 2035, this is extended to ports not covered by the mentioned regulations but equipped with OPS.

Between 2030 and 2035, member states can decide to impose the usage of OPS in ports not covered by the regulation but equipped with OPS when communicated to the Commission a year earlier. Further, member states may decide to extend the requirement of OPS usage to ships at anchorage.

How the EU secures Onshore Power Supply (OPS) in European Ports

While FuelEU Maritime sets the OPS requirements for ships, the Commission also ensured the availability of the necessary infrastructure by Regulation (EU) 2023/1804. As of the regulatory text, Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) core and comprehensive ports must take the necessary measures to provide at least 90% of quayside energy through OPS by 31 December 2029 to containerships, high-speed passenger crafts, and passenger ships above 5,000 GT.

Background information: TEN-T (Trans-European Transport Network) Ports & Onshore Power Supply (OPS)

These ports are a key part of the EU's initiative to create an integrated and efficient transport network across Europe. They are strategically selected for their critical role in facilitating international trade and transport, and they are divided into two main categories:

Core Network Ports

These are the most significant ports within the TEN-T network. They handle large volumes of cargo and passenger traffic and are prioritized for EU funding and development. Core network ports are essential for the smooth functioning of the entire European transport system.

Comprehensive Network Ports

These ports complement the core network by enhancing regional and national connectivity. While they handle less traffic compared to core network ports, they still play a vital role in the transport network and receive support for infrastructure improvements.

What is Onshore Power Supply (OPS)?

Onshore Power Supply, also known as cold ironing or shore-side electricity, allows ships to plug into the local power grid while docked, instead of running their auxiliary engines on fossil fuels. This significantly reduces emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gasses, improving air quality and contributing to climate goals.

Regulatory Context

The relevant portion of the FuelEU Maritime Regulation regarding OPS is in Article 6(1) and onwards:

“From 1 January 2030, a ship moored at the quayside in a port of call which is covered by Article 9 of Regulation (EU) 2023/1804 and which is under the jurisdiction of a Member State shall connect to OPS and use it for all its electrical power demand at berth.”

For more detailed information, refer to the full text of the FuelEU Maritime Regulation (EU) 2023/1805 on the EUR-Lex website.

The relevant portion of the regulation on the deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure regarding OPS is in Article 9(1) and onwards:

“Member States shall ensure that a minimum shore-side electricity supply for seagoing container ships and seagoing passenger ships is provided in TEN-T maritime ports.”

For more detailed information, refer to the full text of the Regulation (EU) 2023/1804 on the EUR-Lex website.

In summary, both regulations work together to not only ensure emission reduction at sea but also at berth through the application of OPS, an essential enabler for comprehensive maritime decarbonization. On top, OPS helps to reduce air emissions and related health impacts, especially in port cities. 

Stay tuned for our next newsletter! Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions or need additional information on how BetterSea's Maritime Emission Network solution can help you set up the right infrastructure in your port.

Best regards,

The BetterSea Team


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